Sharpen your knives, break out the red wine, and get ready to try three killer ways to cook elk steaks.
Elk hunting season, ideally, turns each fall into elk steak season. How much time do you spend thinking about elk steak recipes? Don't worry, that's what we're here for. We've got some ideas on how to prepare the venison steak cuts from your next bull or cow elk.
Elk meat is a lean, low cholesterol, wild game meat that is as flavorful as it is healthy.
Whether it is backstrap, tenderloin, or rear hindquarter cuts, here are some recipes to try. Impress your friends, and maybe even turn someone new onto elk meat!
For any of these methods, make sure to trim all the silverskin and fat from the meat for optimum flavor and to minimize "gaminess."
Marinated and Grilled Elk Steak
For those that love their elk steaks done simple, this marinade recipe is easy and the flame-grilled flavor can't be beat. I've been doing them this way for years, and it is one of my favorite elk steak recipes.
- 3 cups Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- Pink Himalayan sea salt
1. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour them into a 1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Place two steaks into the marinade and push the air out. The elk steaks should be completely submerged in the marinade.
2. Marinate for 24-48 hours, flipping every eight hours for best results.
3. On the day you will be grilling, pull the steaks out of the marinade and let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, and no more than an hour. You'll be grilling these gems over high heat, so fire up your grill and let it warm up for 15 minutes.
4. Salt the steaks to taste. The marinade gets salty flavor from the Worcestershire, but pink Himalayan sea salt lightly sprinkled on the steaks will give the flavor and crusting effect you're looking for.
5. Brush olive oil on the grill grates, and place the steaks onto the grill. Close the cover.
6. Grill for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Test for doneness the same way you would a beef steak (I rely on a cooking thermometer, and suggest you do too) and serve it with your favorite vegetable, salad, or other sides.
Bacon-Wrapped Elk Medallions
Malcom Reed from HOWWTOBBQRIGHT, elevates grilling to an art form with this taste-bud bursting method of preparing elk medallions.
I'll let Malcom explain this technique in this short video.
- 2 lbs elk medallions
- 1 lb thin cut bacon
- Killer Hogs Steak Rub (or your favorite steak seasoning)
- Malcom's Meat Marinade *recipe below
Malcom's Meat Marinade Recipe
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. shallot finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. garlic minced
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and whisk well.
2. Cut the elk medallions into chunks and place them in the marinade for 1-2 hours.
3. Wrap each piece of elk with thin bacon and secure with skewer. Season with Killer Hogs Steak Rub on all sides.
4. Set up your charcoal grill for a two-zone fire, which is explained in the video above.
5. Place the skewers on the cool side of your grill and cook them until the internal temperature reaches 115-120°F. It should take about 20 minutes, and you can flip them halfway through.
6. Place the skewers on the hotter side of the grill for 2-3 minutes per side to crisp the bacon..
7. The ideal internal temp will be 125-130?. When that's reached, remove the skewers and serve the elk medallions alongside a grilled vegetable.
Pan-Seared Elk Steaks
This elk steak recipe comes straight from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). Unlikely as it is that you are tired of your grill, this provides a way to sear your favorite elk meat cuts in a cast-iron skillet.
That helps cut down prep time and allows for a slightly smoother transition between high heat and medium heat.
Capitalizing on elk meat's awesome mild flavor, the RMEF recommends the following:
- Elk Steaks cut thick, at least 1 inch or more
- Coarse Ground Sea Salt
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Butter Per Steak (Or more if you so desire)
- olive oil or canola oil
- *Optional - Choice of marinade
1. Pat the steaks dry on all sides with a paper towel. Liberally season with salt on both sides. Leave steaks out for 15 - 45 minutes to allow them to come to room temperature.
2. Lightly coat each steak with olive oil or canola oil. Liberally season both sides of the steak with coarse ground black pepper.
3. Put the top rack of your oven around 6-10 inches from the top of the broiling coils. Set your oven to broil on high, and place a cast-iron skillet on the rack to warm up. When the oven reaches temperature, pull the cast iron skillet out and set it on a burner on medium-high to high heat.
4. Place a tablespoon of butter in the skillet and sear the first side of each steak for one minute, then flip and sear each of the remaining sides for 30 seconds. Be prepared to use your range fan and mind the smoke detector, because this part can get smoky!
5. Place another tablespoon of butter on each steak to melt and put the steaks back into the oven. Broil for 2.5-3 minutes, then flip and broil for another 2.5-3 minutes to reach medium-rare. Cooking times vary by steak thickness, but conventional wisdom says to add a minute to each side for each half-inch of steak. Remember, a meat thermometer is always a wise choice.
6. Remove the steaks from the oven and place them on a plate or cutting board. Cover them with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for 5-7 minutes. Serve the steaks with asparagus, broccoli, sweet potatoes, or baked potatoes.
What other elk steak methods would you recommend? You almost can't go wrong with such a great cut of wild game meat, and we're always happy to provide some suggestions when they're needed most.